The law, signed by Gov. Jan Brewer (R) in May, is part of a national campaign against women’s reproductive rights and the organizations that facilitate those rights launched by conservatives who are intent on rolling-back the clock on women’s economic gains. In that past two years alone 13 states, all led by hard-right lawmakers to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood.
This is the sixth lawsuit the organization has had to file to protect funding and ensure it can deliver the kind of health care services women need. Planned Parenthood has won injunctions in five states – Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas — arguing that it is being punished for providing constitutionally protected services and that women’s access to preventive healthcare is being blocked.
“It is wrong for the state to tell Arizonans who they can and cannot see for their healthcare. The men and women of this state have the right to see the healthcare provider they deem is best for them,” said Bryan Howard, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Arizona. The group, whose legal team for the case includes the American Civil Liberties Union, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Arizona, according to Planned Parenthood.
“We’re in court and in legislatures in almost every state in the country,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “It has just gotten crazy. This is what I hear from women — Republican women, independent women all over the country: They cannot believe that the Republican Party leadership is on a crusade to end birth-control access in America.”
The Arizona law could mean that almost 3,000 Medicaid patients receiving birth control and other preventive care at Planned Parenthood will no longer be eligible, said Howard of Planned Parenthood Arizona, who is a Republican.
Photo from dreamsjung via flickr.